Instagram has some of the highest number of active users and levels of engagement of any social media platform in the world, which makes it an essential marketing tool for any modern tourism business.
The latest stats show that Instagram boasts over 700 million active users. Let that sink in for a minute. Seven. Hundred. Million. That’s every single person in America times two. 80% of those users follow other businesses’ accounts, and more notably, 60% of those users hear about businesses through Instagram. That’s a lot of potential new customers. However, with content being created and overturned at the ridiculously high rate of 95 million posts per day, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. This article is going to first go through the important potential Instagram holds for businesses (and why we should use it) followed by our top 5 tips for building your own massive Instagram following, and making the most of the social media mammoth.
Why Instagram? Because it’s a Channel that Adapts to Trends
Powerful Tool to Reach Millennials
Millennials’ travel choices are greatly influenced by social media. Instagram is used like a daily tool not only to share pictures or stories but also research and update potential travel options: where to go, how to get there, attractions, hotels, even weather conditions. Instagram for tourism businesses is an influential platform that can reach and motivate the millennial market in a highly effective way.
Free Tool for Visual Marketing
Images can be an extremely powerful tool in capturing people’s immediate attention, but powerful images are the ones that stop people scrolling through their news feed and pay attention to what you have posted. You can pretty much consider Instagram as the most influential image based community in the world, and it’s free to use. Can you afford not to use Instagram for your tourism business?
Leverage and Increase Brand Awareness
Travel and tourism businesses can leverage themselves on Instagram depending on how they use the content that they generate. Create beautiful images and a well-curated account, that’s a start. But bear in mind the content you create should hold value for your customers (and potential new audiences) in some way. Content that is of value is the content that will be shared, and shares are your golden ticket to exponentially increasing your brand awareness.
5 Ways to Make Your Instagram Massive:
1. Promote Your Instagram Bio
Though often overlooked, Instagram bios are so important for businesses because it is your chance to show off who you are.
- Write a short bio with your catchphrase or slogan.
- Add in a Call-To-Action to suggest to your followers that they engage with your brand in some way, for example clicking through to your website’s link
2. Create authentic content
If you are a travel agency, think what things are of the greatest interest to the people that follow you, then find a method to convey and focus on this throughout your authentic content. Followers will respond well to an Instagram feed that is well-curated, consistent, and tailored to their interests. This is what will make them want to see more of it, and this is where follows happen.
Here are some examples of types of content with the highest levels of engagement:
- Quotes or slogans inspired by a specific place
- A guide (to a destination) with slideshow
- Contests and competitions
- Regrams of user-generated content (user-generated content is created by someone else who then tags you in their photos or captions, or check-in your spot, etc.)
In creating authentic content you really must ensure that your content is original and organic. Your photos should be captured at an earlier time or truly happening at real time, ie. avoid using stock images.
3. Best #Hashtag
Instagram without hashtags would be a total mess. Hashtags are used to categorize and filter through all of those 95 million daily posts, so that users can efficiently find the content that interests them. Including a hashtag is what will help you get discovered, but there is more to it then tagging away at random.
There’s two main hashtagging strategies that you can utilize: the first is branded hashtags. This means creating a hashtag specifically for your own brand- whether it is your brand name, product name, or something else entirely, it just needs to be the consistent hashtag that you include on your posts. This is how people will begin to recognise you and your Instagram identity. Conversely, tagging other people’s brands (if it is relevant) is a great way to get their attention and potentially earn a regram.
The second method is using the most famous hashtags relevant to your business/product in order for your post to show up in the largest amount of feeds. The latest research shows that posts with 11 or more hashtags receive the most engagement.
4. Follow & Connect to the Others
You cannot expect large numbers of people to magically be compelled to hit your follow button day by day. Use the social aspect of the social network- socialise! Search and follow influencers or popular regional instagramers that have you have things in common with, then connect with them by tagging them in your photos or in your captions. This will hopefully grab their attention and earn you regrams or engagement from their followers, in turn helping your content level-up.
5. Add a location
Adding a location in your post can help drive discovery easily when someone is exploring content tagged with a location. Your company should have a specific business location/geotag, which can help you to reach the audience members that are most likely to convert to customers.